Hoffenheim were keen to pick up some momentum after last week's important 2-1 home win against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Roberto Firmino returned to fitness for Markus Gisdol and Robin Szarka replaced Tarik Elyounoussi (moving Fabian Johnson onto the wing) as the visitors looked to overcome a dangerous Wolfsburg team.
Both sides pressed each other early on, resulting in a heavy exchange of possession and few chances on goal. As the game progressed, it was Markus Gisdol's men who appeared the calmer of the two and proved it when they showed their composure in front of goal to take advantage of an error by the home team. A harmless ball forward from TSG was cleared, but Koo's header back to Benaglio was underhit and Anthony Modeste nipped in, rounded the goalkeeper and finished calmly to give Hoffenheim the lead.
Millimetres for Modeste, Olic on-hand
Wolfsburg were not completely passive though and a number of tricky balls into the area reminded Hoffenheim of that fact. Nevertheless, the visitors' defence dealt well with the likes of Diego and Vieirinha in the early stages, Vestergaard deflecting the ball narrowly wide of his own goal after Vieirinha's jinking run and shot.
Kevin Volland played a fantastic pass for Anthony Modeste who seemed destined to make it 2-0 but Naldo made a fantastic block tackle to deny Hoffenheim a second. Despite being a goal down, Wolfsburg remained on top with more possession, particularly in and around the area. And it seemed that they would end the first half with no reward for their efforts. That was until Christian Träsch got the better of Szarka on the wing and his low cross was deflected into the path of Ivica Olic who powered in the equaliser: 1-1 at half time.
Olic strikes again
Hoffenheim looked to take control of the game after the interval but the hosts started the second half as they finished the first – in the ascendency. It only took three minutes for them to convert that pressure into a 2-1 lead. Fabian Johnson's poor clearance put Jannik Vestergaard under pressure and Ivica Olic nipped in front of the Dane to delicately flick the ball over the advancing Casteels.
As the hour mark came and went, Hoffenheim continued to be second best side in the game as substitute Perisic and the ever-lively Olic looked to kill the game with a third goal. Markus Gisdol replaced a subdued Firmino with Sven Schipplock in the hope of finding an equaliser. In the end, that effort turned into frustration as the home side held firm and stopped them testing Diego Benaglio in the Wolfsburg goal during the second 45 minutes.
German Cup the focus
Despite their inconsistent form in the Bundesliga, Hoffenheim must now turn their attention to the German Cup when they take on Energie Cottbus in round two on Tuesday, September 24th at 20:30 CET.
VfL Wolfsburg: Benaglio – Träsch, Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez – Koo (46' Perisic), Polak, Vieirinha (75' Caligiuri), Diego, Schäfer – Olic (85' Klose)
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Casteels – Beck, Abraham, Vestergaard, Szarka (46' Herdling) – Polanski, Rudy (73' Strobl) – Firmino (68' Schipplock), Volland, Johnson – Modeste
Goals: 0-1 Modeste (15'), 1-1 Olic (44'), 2-1 Olic (48')
Yellow cards: Polak – Rudy; Firmino, Vestergaard, Herdling
Referee: Marco Fritz